Travel agents have disputed results of a survey that found just 7% of consumers would seek advice from an agent when planning a holiday.
The Entire Direct Marketing survey, conducted online, also found 66% of respondents preferred the internet when researching holidays and 8% placed guidebooks and magazines ahead of travel agents.
Gabi Birbeck, director of Rendezvous Travel in Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire, thought the opposite. “I would say many come in, use us and then book online.”
She added that those who use the internet often encounter conflicting reports and turned to the agency for impartial advice.
“Because we are small and independent, clients ask us what we think. They feel they can trust us. We get a lot of bookings that way,” Birbeck said.
Global Vacations manager Catherine Merrison said: “Yes, some people do use us for research and then not book with us, but as we are in a small town we know most people and about 80% who ask for advice do book. It also helps if I or someone in the office has personal experience of a property – then we can give our recommendations.
“The fact the survey was done online would also make a difference to the survey as will the age group – ours in a retirement town so only a few people will use the internet.”
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